Charles has good size and great athletic ability to be a solid Left tackle for the team that drafts him in the future. He is a strong run blocker and does a nice job going to the second level to make a block on a linebacker. He shows good feet and just might be the best pulling tackle in this draft. Charles shows mental stamina and has the lateral agility to mirror his man in pass protection. He has noticeable upper body strength along with having excellent lower body strength to handle and use leverage when his opponent is trying to bull rush him.
NEEDS TO IMPROVE
Right now, Charles is using his athletic abilities to cover for his mistakes in techniques when he is pass blocking. He has a very long lateral step that causes him to be off balance against the stronger pass rushers at the college level. His pass blocking techniques need a lot of work, but he does have talent, size and athletic ability. Worst-case scenario, he becomes your Pro Bowl left guard or right tackle if he continues to struggle with the pass blocking techniques he will need to have to be a left tackle at the NFL level.
This kid is going to be a good offensive lineman in the future and could wind up being a Pro Bowl left tackle if he can improve his pass blocking techniques; unfortunately, bad habits are hard to break. I can see a team in the latter part of the first round jumping to get him; there's a possibility teams may even move up to draft this kid because of his athletic talent and strong mental make-up. He is a fighter and starting him off inside or on the right side until he can develop would be the best for him to impact after the draft right away. He is the type of kid that needs to play to correct his technique issues and get better because bad habits cannot be corrected without repetition. A good line coach will be able to show him that cutting down his lateral step will not mean that he will get beat to the outside if he is patient and uses the correct techniques. He seems to be a smart player (and coachable) because he has improved this year every time I have seen him. Drafting him and working him on the right side for a year or two until his pass blocking improves seems to me to be an excellent way for Charles to become a very successful left tackle in the near future. Charles reminds me a lot of Vernon Cary (OT Miami Dolphins). Vernon struggled until he found the right coaches and system that fit his talents. He had excellent athletic talent coming out of college and played more than one position for his college team. The problem with that is it caused him to have some very bad habits that were not a problem at the college level, but were magnified in the NFL. Charles has the talent, but he also has some very bad habits and the only way to correct those bad habits is to play through them and hope his QB and coaches can put up with the mistakes. I think Charles will make it and eventually be a starting left tackle in the NFL. I would draft him in the first round and bring him along slowly. Good left tackles are hard to find and worth the risk if they have the athletic talent and good character -- Charles seems to have both.
Drew Boylhart - 12/09